By Matt Morrison
Concertgoers in Orange County saddened with the closing of Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre this month can look forward to a new venue less than two miles away without missing a beat.
Land developer FivePoint Communities in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment unveiled a joint plan to construct a temporary 12,000-seat facility on the southwest perimeter of the Orange County Great Park with expectations of opening in time for next year’s summer concert series.
Pending permit approvals from the City of Irvine, the venue will be licensed for up to three years as plans for a permanent amphitheater within the cultural terrace of the Great Park are developed.
“I want to see it completed and finished hopefully by spring so we can get the concerts moving and there won’t be any downtime with the close (of Irvine Meadows),” said Irvine city councilwoman Christina Shea, one of several guest speakers at the announcement Tuesday.
“The city just has to approve the noise continuation and what that’s going to look like. Also, the parking permits and how the flow of traffic is going to work,” Shea added.
Live Nation Southern California President Bret Gallagher praised FivePoint for partnering in a solution that extends a 35-year tradition of first-class live entertainment in Irvine.
“When our lease was ending, they stepped up, found this piece of property for us and have been a great building partner with us since day one,” Gallagher said.
Opened in 1981, Irvine Meadows has annually staged the most popular acts in all genres of music including Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Oingo Boingo, Billy Joel, and Garth Brooks. The curtain closes this month with final performances by Jimmy Buffet and Orange County native Gwen Stefani.